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This company makes $100,000 clocks that look like spiders and spaceships

This high-end watchmaking company doesn’t make watches. Their thing is to create jaw-dropping mechanical sculptures that just happen to tell the time.

Maximilian Büsser and Friends (MB&F) is a Geneva-based watchmaking company founded by Maximilian Büsser in 2005.

Büsser previously spent seven years working at luxury jeweler ‘Harry Winston Rare Timepieces’. In that short time-span, he managed to increase their revenue from US$8 million (AUS$10.2 million) to $80 million (AUS$102 million).

His success was in part due to Opus, a line of highly intricate mechanical watches he pushed during his tenure, made in collaboration with smaller independent watchmakers with designs based on his own unorthodox concepts.

Introducing our third music box : MusicMachine 3 !!! Inspired by Star Wars' legendary imperial TIE fighters, impeccably manufactured by our friends at Reuge, this mechanical marvel will naturally play the Star Wars theme… but also the unforgettable tunes from James Bond, Mission Impossible, The Godfather, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence and The Persuaders. All naturally amplified thanks to the revolutionary resonant base, developed by JMC Lutherie. The Force is strong with this one… #mbandf #musicmachines #musicmachine3 #reuge #jmclutherie

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Encouraged by his achievements at Harry Winston Inc., Büsser decided to reject a new contract with the company and launch his own entrepreneurship to continue developing his crazy ideas.

He calls his products as ‘Horological Machines’, Horology meaning ‘the study of time’ in Latin. These are little contraptions that seem out of a steampunk world. Some of Büsser’s designs include music boxes that play Pink Floyd tunes, table clocks that look like metallic beasts, and intricate machines that are part owl, part spaceship.

Best of HM7 Aquapod, cont'd: nothing beats a nice wristshot – like this one by our colleague at the @mbfmadgallery.ae in Dubai, @watchwael ! #mbandf #hm7aquapod #horologicalmachines #hm7 #aquapod

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His creations are as outrageous as they are beautiful; stainless-steel, kinetic-sculptures inspired by the best of science fiction and built by the finest watchmakers in the world. Things like the outrageous Octopod, an eight-legged monster inspired in James Cameron’s The Abyss fall into a gray area of technological wonder and performance art.

3…2…1… Lift off! Announcing DESTINATION MOON: our new table clock co-created with @lepee_1839 . 237 fine-finished components standing over 40cm tall, featuring hours and minutes on revolving rings, powered by an entirely new movement. Manual winding via the oversized “thruster” crown at the rocket base, delivering 8 days of power reserve. Limited editions of 50 pieces in green, blue, black and silver. More info at mbandf.com #mbandf #lepee1839 #destinationmoon #cocreation #clock #tableclock

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All of Büsser’s pieces are limited editions of just a few hundred units, with prices that go from US$30k (AUS$38k) to US$230k (AUS$293k).

Meanwhile, at the @mbfmadgallery … The Return of the Nixie Machine! If you liked the first edition of this awesome Nixie-tube clock, we're pretty sure you'll like Nixie Machine II: 12 pieces created by @frankbuchwald and @daliborfarny , exclusively for our M.A.D.Galleries in Geneva, Taipei and Dubai. #mbandf #mbfmadgallery #nixiemachine #nixiemachine2 #frankbuchwald #daliborfarny #clock #nixie #nixietube #nixieclock

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Despite retailers deeming his product as “unsellable” at first, this unique business has become a thriving endeavour, with $16 million reported in revenue in 2014. Büsser says that at this point, “Our biggest risk now is not to shock.”

A few weeks ago, we spent some time with the @monochromewatch team in Geneva: in the vault of our @mbfmadgallery they found a few Horological and Legacy Machines, retracing the last 11 years… Have a look at the complete retrospective on the Monochrome site! Top row, left to right: HM1, HM2, HM3, HM4, HM5, HM6 and HMX. Bottom row: LM1, LM2, LM101 and LM Perpetual. #mbandf #horologicalmachines #legacymachines

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The Arachnophobia "spider clock" created by MB&F and L'Epée 1839… Did we mention there's an 18K yellow gold plated version too? #mbandf #arachnophobia #lepee1839 #clock #tableclock

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The Power of Platinum: limited platinum editions of the HM6 SV, Legacy Machine Perpetual and Legacy Machine 101. #mbandf #horologicalmachines #hm6 #hm6sv #legacymachines #lmperpetual #lm101 #platinum

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Announcing OCTOPOD !!! Think octopus, cephalopods and other 8-tentacle creatures… think marine chronometer and ship compass… think bathysphere from The Abyss! Put it all together, materialize with 468 fine-finished components, and you get Octopod – a mechanical table clock co-created with our amazing friends at @lepee_1839 3 limited editions of 50 pieces each in black, blue or palladium. More info at mbandf.com #mbandf #octopod #lepee1839 #cocreation #clock #tableclock

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Auction alert: the season is about to kick off and among the thousands of watches for sale, we’ve spotted a couple of rare MB&F Machines at the @sothebys auction in Hong Kong this Monday, October 2nd: an LM1 Silberstein + an HM4 Thunderbolt, both in titanium. We'll be happy to offer the new owner a full service, free of charge, including shipping to and from Switzerland, along with a one-year warranty extension! #mbandf #horologicalmachines #hm4 #legacymachines #lm1silberstein

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About the author

Filmmaker. 3D artist. Procrastination guru. I spend most of my time doing VFX work for my upcoming film Servicios Públicos, a sci-fi dystopia about robots, overpopulated cities and tyrant states. @iampineros

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